Alright, we’re a sentimental lot – there’s no denying it.

2021 has been good to us. It’s borne witness to some killer developments Customer Success Collective has made (and they just happen to fit into the 12 days of Christmas…):

❓ 12 Q&A blog posts

📈 11(+2) tactics for improving customer retention

10 steps to follow when a customer cancels a contract

📝 9 onboarding articles

📧 8 email templates

📺 7 CS Connect episodes

🏆 6 Award Winners

💡 5…. strategies for retention!

🎙️ 4 episodes of CS Build

🎪 3 CS Festivals

📜 2 reports

🧑‍🤝‍🧑……and 1 community launch!

But as we cast our minds back over the last 12 months and reminisce over the developments in customer success, we have our minds set on the blossoming aspirations to fill the next chapter.

We’ve got big plans for 2022. We’ve got more reports, playbooks, and events in the pipeline, so you have plenty to look forward to.

Ever curious to know the New Year’s resolutions and reflections of the leaders in the CS community, we asked Mimi Fernandez, Minna Vaisanen, and Subha Shrinivasan a few questions to mark the end of what’s been a phenomenal year for customer success. 👇

What was the biggest customer success lesson you learned this year, and what’s your customer success resolution for 2022?

Resolution #1

“What’s my big customer success lesson? How crucial it is for the customer success team and sales to be in lock-step.
“Looking at the customer's journey starts with that first touchpoint by sales and if the tone of that call doesn't carry through to the onboarding and first team meeting, then the customer can feel passed around.
“Make sure everyone has the same energy, language, and cohesiveness so the customer doesn't feel they have to re-introduce themselves or re-tell their story more than once.”

Mimi Fernandez, Director of Customer Success at Beyond BookSmart

Resolution #2

“I implemented customer success software at the start of 2021, which has been a real game-changer. Being able to see 360° views into customer profiles, from data fields to usage, allows us to really understand the customer, determine risks and quantify our actions.
“With this being a year of tech stack implementation, I can approach 2022 as if I’m moving the car from 1st gear to autopilot – perhaps even into self-driving mode!”

Minna Vaisanen, Head of Customer Success at Growth Engineering Ltd.

Resolution #3

“For me, it’s got to be the importance of the sales handover and customer onboarding experience as a long-term, churn prevention step.
“When the first touchpoint goes wrong, when expectations are mismatched it sets up a grand stage for failure rather than growth. And when the opposite happens, when there is 100% lock-in during the first experience, you are setting the stage for magic. ✨
“In 2022, my main focus is to ensure we have 100% lock-in with customer expectations of the product, to guarantee that their onboarding experience is a ‘pure wow’, and align the entire organization behind what success is for that customer.
“Contextualizing success for every customer, right from onboarding through nurturing, and communicating that, again and again, will be my #1 priority.”

- Subha Shrinivasan, VP & Global Head of Customer Success at

Did you receive a piece of advice that resonated with you this year?

Tidbit #1

“The best piece of advice I received in 2021 was from marketing and all-round customer experience expert, Jay Baer:
‘Two words you should NEVER say or write to a customer… division and department. Customers do not care about your org chart. When you invoke "others" in the organization, you force the customer to confront your internal wiring and sticky processes. And seeing your company's innards can erode customer trust in an instant'.”

– Mimi Fernandez, Director of Customer Success at Beyond BookSmart

Tidbit #2

“Watching a seminar by Clive Woodward taught me about the DNA of champions and how to shape high-performing teams. One nugget of advice that stuck with me was this: ‘Be a sponge, practice a growth mindset, and keep your knowledge up-to-date, especially on tech’.”

Minna Vaisanen, Head of Customer Success at Growth Engineering Ltd.

Tidbit #3

“The piece of advice that really resonated with me in 2021 was that finally, people are doing things for other people. It’s that simple, in a business context and in its most fundamental human form.
“It’s extremely important to build sincere, meaningful relationships and to genuinely care not just for short-term business benefits but as a long-term personal strategy. To go out of your way and to make someone else look better, smarter, and more successful than they were before they met you.”

- Subha Shrinivasan, VP & Global Head of Customer Success at

What was your favorite article that you read in 2021?

Article #1

“I work in the education space, but I'm not an educator. I have a team of people who are and I came across this article that I thought was a great way to tell them why I think so highly of their roles: ‘Why Teachers Make The Perfect Customer Success Managers.’”

– Mimi Fernandez, Director of Customer Success at Beyond BookSmart

Article #2

“I have been educating myself this year on the diversity, equity and inclusion landscape, so one of the eye-opening articles for me this year was McKinsey's 2020 DE&I study, ‘Diversity wins: How inclusion matters’.”

Minna Vaisanen, Head of Customer Success at Growth Engineering Ltd.

Article #3

“The article which resonated the most with me was one published on The Success League: ‘Be in the room where it happens.’ This is particularly powerful for women, as it’s an important piece of advice I think they should adhere to.”

Subha Shrinivasan, VP & Global Head of Customer Success at

What’s your big customer success prediction for 2022?

Prediction #1

“I think customer success leadership is going to have a bigger role within the C-suite. The customer success function is the closest businesses have got to the customer in the longest period of time. Their insights are valuable and if the CEO isn't listening (or is more focused on sales), they have a blind spot in their business.”

– Mimi Fernandez, Director of Customer Success at Beyond BookSmart

Prediction #2

“I predict that Salesforce, or one of the other big tech companies, will buy a CS software organization, which will elevate the importance of a continuous SaaS sales cycle.”

– Minna Vaisanen, Head of Customer Success at Growth Engineering Ltd.

Prediction #3

“Industries outside of software are going to adapt to customer success and some of the CS platforms, tools, and software are going to build specific capabilities in their tools to cater to non-SaaS businesses also, and facilitate the early adoption of customer success.”

– Subha Shrinivasan, VP & Global Head of Customer Success at

If the stoic musings of these CS titans has whet your appetite, then be sure to check out the predictions and tidbits of our Ones to Watch in 2022.

Download our latest report for a definitive list of trailblazers, rising stars, and influencers who dish the dirt on customer retention, product adoption, and their predictions for 2022.

But for now, we wish you a very joyful New Year! 🎊

The Ones to Watch in 2022
As we bid adieu to 2021, we’re looking forward to the customer success developments that 2022 brings. We’ve been beavering away this winter to present you with our report of the Ones to Watch in 2022, celebrating and interviewing the stellar talent in the customer success community.